Plant Ecology

, Volume 163, Issue 1, pp 51–62 | Cite as

Gap-phase regeneration in a semideciduous mesophytic forest, south–eastern Brazil

  • Sebastião Venâncio Martins
  • Ricardo Ribeiro Rodrigues


The study was carried out in ten natural canopy gaps in the SantaGenebra County Reserve (22°49′45″S, 47°06′33″W)in the county of Campinas, São Paulo State, Brazil. The size and canopyopenness of the gaps were studied using hemispherical photographs. Thevegetation survey included all shrubs and trees with height ≥ 0.50m in the gaps interiors and all the individuals with PBH(perimeterat breast height) ≥ 15 cm in a 3 m surroundingborder of the gaps. The similarity among the gaps and among their surroundingareas was assessed by the Jaccard similarity index and by cluster analyzes. Thegap size varied from 20.09 to 468 m2, with apredominance of small gaps. The families with the greatest species richness inthe gaps were Rutaceae, Rubiaceae and Euphorbiaceae. The species with thegreatest number of individuals in the gaps were Coffeaarabica L., Hybanthus atropurpureus (St. Hil.)Taub. and Actinostemon klotschii (Muell. Arg.) Pax, allwidely distributed in the understorey. Shade-tolerant species (late secondaryspecies) predominated in function of the predominance of small gaps. The highnumber of species found in the gaps reflects the importance of thesedisturbances in the maintenance of species diversity in the studied forest.

Canopy gaps Forest succession Hemispherical photographs Tropical forest 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sebastião Venâncio Martins
    • 1
  • Ricardo Ribeiro Rodrigues
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Engenharia FlorestalUniversidade Federal de ViçosaViçosaBrazil

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